"Building a website and doing nothing else is like building a shop in the middle of the forest, in secret, with no paths or even signs to it. SEO is the construction of those paths, roads and even motorways to ensure as many people as possible can get to it easily" (Jeremy Wright, SEO guru)
SEO is the practice of making adjustments both on and off a website in order for it to gain ranking in the search engine results for a given set of search terms. This is achieved by making your web site appeal positively to the algorithms used by the search engines in order to identify the order in which the search results should be displayed. These algorithms change all of the time and so you need to be able to make continued adjustments to make sure you are still looking good to them.
It is very important to ensure that you know exactly what words you wish to be found for on the search results. Without this you do not have a basis on which to build. This is not as hard as it sounds because most business owners know their customers and their product. Usually it is made up of the simplest form of what you sell, and where you sell it. So if you sell bananas in Bristol then simply your lead search term would be "Bananas in Bristol".
One of the most important parts of on-site SEO is making sure that your site says that you sell bananas in Bristol and that the search engines can identify this. This is done by actually using that term within the site in various places, something that a huge amount of websites fail to do, but there is a lot more to it than that.
Do I need SEO.
Yes, there is no question at all. Unless you have seriously deep pockets to pump into Google AdWords to send your site straight to the sponsored results section, you absolutely have to do SEO to get your site moving up the ranking and get hits on your site. The only way to ensure that your site moves up the rankings for the search terms that you want to rank well for is to make sure your site is as optimised as possible.
Luckily, due to Google's ever changing algorithm (which most other search engines mirror) it has become a little bit simpler and the playing field has been levelled in favour of the smaller business owner. Content has now become one of the most important parts of your SEO as the search engines are looking for more and more informative sites and the trend has moved towards sending users through to as much information as possible rather than commercial sites.
However, there is so much more to SEO than just creating good content as the search engine's algorithms are extremely advanced and have been tweaked and tweaked over time meaning that so many smaller indicators also make up a large part such as Meta Data, site speed, linkability within the site and external backlinks to name a few.
Whether you do go down the laborious route of your own SEO or hire in a company to do it, if you want people to visit your site, you absolutely need SEO.
Should I use an SEO company.
You have almost certainly been approached via phone or email from companies saying that they will have you ranking at number 1 by the end of the week. Sadly this is just not possible and it takes at least months to start seeing true movement in ranking. These are certainly not the type of company to engage in.
Most of us are extremely busy actually running the day to day of our businesses so it is always better to outsource these things to a reputable company, especially if it requires specialist knowledge. Good SEO certainly does and it pays dividends to let someone with inside knowledge and experience help promote your business while you get on with keeping your customer happy. What they would do in a couple of hours may take you weeks to learn.
Using an SEO company makes so much sense for most businesses as they are able to see small changes in the search engine algorithms in real time due to dealing with multiple customers. This means they can react and make tweaks on your behalf to keep you ahead of your competition.
Luckily, SEO prices are not at the exorbitant level that they used to be and there are a few companies out there offering various packages starting at incredibly affordable prices. Don't be tempted to think that just because one company is charging more, they must be better. It is important to drill down what they are actually offering, what experience they may have and what their customers think about them.
At Boost366 we have been helping customers since 2009 and can give you an incredible SEO package from as little as £99 per quarter. Our customers love us as you can see from our reviews.